This is the time of the year when we are having time to evaluate or programs, reflect on what we have done this calendar year and try to figure out what we want to accomplish next year. On my desk there was a sheet that one of my interpreters left from her “Holiday Nature Scavenger Hunt”.
The first item to search on this scavenger hunt were two “turtle” doves”, the next one was “Partridge” in a “pear” tree, and so on. On the back of the page there were some hints about where to find the items or how would they “translate” to native items that they could find in our Nature Preserve.
Participants were fascinated because they have heard this song and probably sung it at some point without even thinking about the meaning of some of these items. They related the song to the holidays but had no idea what they were or where they came from.
In North Carolina we were looking for Mourning Doves instead of “turtle” doves. Partridges are related to the local Bobwhite Quails, English Ivy is a very aggressive invasive plant towards native species compared to our local poison ivy which you do not want to use for decoration!
At the end program participants not only understood where the roots of this song were but also how it could translate to native plants and animals in the Carolinas. After the program they could not wait to go back and share with others all the stuff that they have seen while hiking and singing along the trails.
Remember that every time you make your theme relevant visitors will remember and hopefully care about the resources while having fun.
Happy (interpretive) Holidays!